New York’s Only Black-Owned Comedy Club Sees Success Despite Setbacks – CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBS New York) – A new comedy club in Harlem is making its mark on the New York entertainment scene.

Comedy in Harlem succeeds with community support, despite setbacks.

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Last September, longtime professional comedian Jamie Roberts fulfilled a dream when he opened the doors to Comedy in Harlem on East 117th Street.

Roberts was fed up with the limited opportunities he found in mainstream theaters, so he created his own space.

The club has quickly become a safe space for minority comedians looking to make it big.

“We put on shows that are so impactful, not just for comedy and what we’re going through with COVID, but for Latinos and black people in general,” said Wepa Comedy Night producer Edwardo Infante.

“If I had a club that I could go to and feel comfortable at on a regular basis, I think I would be a lot further in my career,” Roberts added.

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But as a businessman, Roberts isn’t quite laughing in the bank yet, due to a major setback.

“The pipe burst,” he said. “And then another pipe burst. So when you’re dealing with, you know, a new business, it’s pretty hard to maintain momentum when your doors are closed.

Roberts had to close the club and cancel some of his biggest shows to date over the MLK holiday weekend. His team worked around the clock to make the repairs, unsure whether insurance would cover the cost.

“They’ll decide whether or not they’re deemed sufficient to write a check,” Roberts said, “but we can’t wait for the check to come in, so we have to do what we have to do now.”

So the show continues.

An anonymous donor has already offered to pay all repair costs related to the burst pipe.

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To view the calendar of events and purchase tickets, click here.